Taking part in the Memorial Day tradition known as a “flags in” is a profound experience. The second you step through the gates at Hampton National Cemetery in Virginia, you know you are on hallowed ground. You understand the quote “They hover as a cloud of witnesses above this Nation.” And if you listen, you […]

via Listen to their Souls. — Action Speaks-Voices of Operation Homefront

2015 Year in Review

Well, 2015 has been quite a year! I have been more active on this blog, which I will continue to use in the new year.

So, without further ado, here is my 2015 year in review.

January: Gettysburg


February: Deer in woods


March: Drip from Recycling Bin


April: HMX-1 Helicopter


May: WWII Flyover


July: WWII Memorial at night


August: Montgomery County Fair


September: The National Zoo — Bao Bao


October: Harper’s Ferry


November: Eggnog Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake


December: Loch Ness Monster at Brookside Gardens


Brookside Gardens: Garden of Lights

On Thursday, December 3, 2015 I went to Brookside Gardens’ Garden of Lights display to enjoy the gardens and dazzling colorful lights that are on display this time of year. This is the first time I have been back to the garden of lights display in ages and since I’ve had my latest camera, a Canon Rebel T3i. I was amazed by how easy it was and how spectacular my photographs turned out. Here are the settings and how I was photographing the light display.

1. I was not using a tripod, but in low light level situations it is always a good idea to do so. I was not doing so because mine is currently out of commission (on my list for Santa). In order to compensate for this I bumped up my ISO to the max it would go, which was 6400.


2. I was shooting in manual mode because I wanted to be sure that I was in charge of all of the settings. IMG_5463

3. I had my white balance mode set to tungsten and I think that worked out well, as the lights didn’t have a yellowish or greenish tinge to them. IMG_5477

4. Finally, just have fun. For a few of my pictures I decided to go for the abstract and draw circles with my camera while I was taking the shot. IMG_5473

Hope these tips help. Happy shooting! Happy Holidays!

Salad Days: Reaching Back into the Old Gray Matter

I came across this writing prompt for my Blogging 101 class called Salad Days and it is asking us to if there is a period in our own personal lives that we think of as the good old days? If so, to tell a story about those innocent and/or exciting times (or lack thereof). I was born in 1981, so I was a child of the 80’s and 90’s. I think certainly my childhood was a time of innocence and I certainly don’t carry a lot of the worries I carry now. I don’t really have one specific story to tell from my childhood. However, I do have various photo albums, as maybe some of you do. What some of you may not do is sort your photos like I do. For some reason I decided to dedicate a photo album solely to concerts I attended. So, when I open that album I can look at those pictures and see a picture of Garth Brooks and say, I remember that concert. That was a fun concert. Another album I have is for family and friends. Then, when I went away to college my Freshmen year, I started another photo album. So, somewhere, I have a photo album filled with pictures from my freshmen year in college. Now, whenever I feel like going back to the good old days or remembering fun times, I pull out a photo album.

Salad Days

Library of Congress – Jefferson Building: Ornate

When I heard this week’s photo challenge of ornate, I immediately thought of how lucky I am to live in a suburb of Washington, DC and all the ornate buildings and architecture the city holds. History was one of my favorite subjects growing up in school, so it is neat to go into the city and see all the old buildings and stuff, so this was a great assignment. I went to Union Station and the Library of Congress on Wednesday and took some pictures. Here is a picture I took at the Library of Congress.


World Photo Day

“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place…I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything with the way you see them.” -Elliott Erwitt. Happy World Photo Day! If you want to find out more about it, you can go to this website: World Photo Day

In honor of World Photo Day here is one of my favorite shots that I took when I went to the county fair earlier this week.



Montgomery County Agricultural Fair

One of my favorite summertime activities is going to the local county fair, seeing all the farm animals and eating a funnel cake. The Montgomery County Agricultural Fair opens a week from today and runs through Aug. 22.

Of course there are rides and activities:


And all of the fried fair food:


And lots of carnival prizes:


But don’t forget about the Ag Education, such as the Moo-Ternity Ward & Milking Parlor:




And the contests, such as a Twitter Photo Scavenger Hunt returning for the second year in a row this year. Big surprise, I’m going to play and enter again this year!